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Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Original records created by Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services.


Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Collection Number: C0140


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Repository:  Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Abstract:
This catalog was created from the original finding aid obtained by The Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and finding aid are held at Princeton University.

Scope and Content: 
Princeton University holds several Whitman manuscripts, including notes, letters, and drafts of poetry and prose. For this catalog, only items deemed poetry or prose manuscripts have been described at the item level.

Biographical Information:
For additional biographical information, see "Walt Whitman," by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, and the chronology of Whitman's Life.

Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: America
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00002
Box: 22
Folder: 9
Date: 1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Lightly corrected and signed draft, six lines, of "America," a poem published first in the New York Herald on March 12, 1888. It was reprinted in November Boughs (1888) and in the "Sands at Seventy" annex of Leaves of Grass (1891–92). The manuscript is written on the reverse of a letter fragment from an unknown correspondent, dated January 27, 1888.



Whitman Archive Title: As I sit writing here
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00001
Box: 22
Folder: 9
Date: 1888
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Draft, with several corrections, of the four-line poem "As I Sit Writing Here," which was published first in the New York Herald, May 14, 1888. It was reprinted in November Boughs (1888) and in the "Sands at Seventy" annex of Leaves of Grass (1891–92).



Whitman Archive Title: Going Somewhere
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00003
Box: 22
Folder: 9
Date: 1887
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Signed draft, with several corrections and instructions to the printer, of "'Going Somewhere'," which was published in Lippincott's Magazine in November 1887. It was reprinted in November Boughs (1888) and in the "Sands at Seventy" annex of Leaves of Grass (1891–92).



Whitman Archive Title: Of Emerson's 1st vol
Whitman Archive ID: wwa.00008
Date: 1860–1873
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A manuscript comprised of two separate sheets pasted together to make one leaf. Portions of this manuscript were used in "Emerson's Books, (The Shadows of them)," which first appeared in the 22 May 1880 issue of the Boston Literary World. Portions of the essay were reprinted in the New York Tribune on 15 May 1882 under the title, "A Democratic Criticism. By Walt Whitman." The essay finally appeared in Complete Prose (1892) as "Emerson's Books, (The Shadows of them)."



Whitman Archive Title: [Chief Wapalingua]
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00024
Date: 1879–1880
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 4 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Content: Several pages of notes most likely composed during Whitman's trip west in the fall of 1879. Portions of this manuscript were later used in "The Prairies and Great Plains in Poetry. (After traveling Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado.)," Specimen Days & Collect (1882). This prose piece appeared unchanged in Complete Prose (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: [Had been simmering]
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00005
Date: 1889–1891
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Draft of "Some Personal and Old-Age Jottings," first published in the March 1891 issue of Lippincott's Magazine under the title, "Some Personal and Old-Age Memoranda." This prose piece remained largely unchanged between its first printing in Lippincott's and its appearance in Complete Prose (1892). However, the version published in Lippincott's includes a transcription of Ralph Waldo Emerson's 21 July 1855 letter in praise of Leaves of Grass, along with a short commentary on Emerson's relationship to Whitman—both of which Whitman did not include in Complete Prose. On the verso of this manuscript is a letter addressed to Whitman, dated 19 June 1889. Based on the date of this incoming letter and the date "Some Personal and Old-Age Jottings" was first published, this manuscript must have been composed between 1889–1891.



Whitman Archive Title: [I had just before been for a time in Kansas]
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00032
Date: 1879–1882
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A short note in which Whitman refers to his 1879 railroad trip to Kansas. Whitman travelled west to attend the quarter-centennial celebration of the Kansas settlement and to visit his brother Jeff in St. Louis. Whitman journeyed as far as Denver and the Rockies before returning to Camden on January 5, 1880. Though no direct lines from this manuscript can be traced to Whitman's published prose, it is clear that this note is related to portions of Specimen Days, specifically the section titled, "Lawrence and Topeka, Kansas." Whitman first published this short piece in Specimen Days & Collect (1882), and reprinted it unchanged in Complete Prose (1892).



Whitman Archive Title: [Returned from my four months]
Whitman Archive ID: pri.00035
Date: 1879–1882
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A short note in which Whitman refers to his 1879 railroad trip to Kansas. Whitman travelled west to attend the quarter-centennial celebration of the Kansas settlement and to visit his brother Jeff in St. Louis. Whitman journeyed as far as Denver and the Rockies before returning to Camden on January 5, 1880. A portion of this manuscript was used in "Upon Our Own Land," a short piece Whitman included in Specimen Days & Collect (1882). "Upon Our Own Land" appeared unchanged in Complete Prose (1892).




Restrictions on Original Materials: Please consult with repository.

Preferred Citation:  To identify this catalog as a source, see the Archive's "Conditions of Use" page.


Repository Contact Information:

Princeton University Library
Princeton University
One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098


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Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.